May 23, 2018


It was yesterday that made me finally cave in and cry Uncle.  The kind of day when you vacillate between being more or less okay, then having active suicidal ideation where you try to figure out whether the pills would absorb more readily in your stomach or your intestines, then laughing your ass off at a funny story and talking animatedly for a while.

I think I've reached a point where shit-house rats would look positively sane and stable when in my presence, maybe wearing tweed jackets and impassive expressions and smoking psychiatrists' pipes.

I'm going to start taking lithium.

I am scared of it because I fluctuate massively between being well-hydrated and getting dizzy when I stand up because I'm a quart low.  I will have to get my act together and always have a water bottle in my hand.  Otherwise, my kidneys are going to get pissed off and I could end up in the hospital, which will do wonders for my dependability at work and my ability to act as my kid's taxi cab.

That may sound trite, but those things are important.  When I'm at my lowest of lows, what keeps me going is utility.  Not self-worth or love or encouragement, but knowing that my paycheck is needed and I'm the only one in the house who has the time or ability to do some key things.  In that pit, I cannot feel P.J.'s words about needing me, words that usually produce a wave of strong sentiment.  I cannot palpate maternity and all it entails.  I can only feel the tangible tug of objective usefulness.  It's a thread.  It could stand to be thicker, but at least it's there.

But the lithium would keep me out of those lowest of lows.  So what's important to me will require massive amounts of water.  And salt.  Measuring sodium intake is apparently a Thing.  I can do everything in my power to stay hydrated and mean it.

Did you know that if you go really toxic with your lithium level, they have to pump your stomach?  How would they pump a pouch?  Is that only in case of overdose?  I have questions.

I am also piqued by inevitable weight gain.  I worked so hard to get to this place, the place where I like my clothes and feel right in my own skin, something that seems to be unaffected by the mood swings.  It took thirty-nine years to like my physical appearance and to feel a lightness when I tread.  My body is by no means perfect, but it's good enough.  And to lose it, lose most of my newly-won clothing and take up once more the existential guilt that always accompanied my obesity ... no, not piqued.  Heartbroken.

I can fight it, of course.  Most people don't win, but maybe I will.  There are probably other people out there who hate self-care but do it anyway.

It would seem the Lamictal experiment has backfired.  What's funny is that I just saw something crawling down the side of my coffee creamer bottle, out of the corner of my eye, but when I looked, it wasn't there.  That's been happening for a couple of weeks now.  Fuck that shit.  I swear I did things that I didn't actually do and forget to do things I need to do, and this is beginning to affect me as a wife and mother, and that's really bad ... but seeing crawling things that aren't there is over the line.  No.

The lithium can be administered sublingually, so absorption will not be an issue.  There is, at least, that.

Maybe soon, I'll be able to identify with the shit-house rats, and come down to their level of insanity.  It's good to belong.

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